I thought my parents were crazy when they made me take accordion lessons. That squeezebox drove me crazy. But maybe the thing did me a favour. From the CBC via The Huffington Post:
Childhood music lessons could pay off in protecting the brain against dementia decades later, even in those who don’t continue to play, researchers are learning.In one study, children who played instruments performed better on memory tests even decades later.Neuroscientists in Illinois tested for delays in how the brain responds to fast-changing elements of speech. They found four to 14 years of music training early in life was associated with faster processing, 40 years after the music training
stopped. None of the subjects reported practising an instrument, performing or instruction after age 25.
Huh. Keep reading.